Ramakant Desai      

Full name Ramakant Bhikaji Desai

Born June 20, 1939, Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra

Died April 27, 1998, Mumbai, Maharashtra (aged 58 years 311 days)

Major teams India, Mumbai

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium

Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 6s Ct St
Tests 28 44 13 418 85 13.48 0 1 1 9 0
First-class 150 179 48 2384 107 18.19 1 9 50 0
List A 1 1 1 7 7* - 0 0 0 0
Bowling averages
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
Tests 28 45 5597 2761 74 6/56 8/190 37.31 2.95 75.6 8 2 0
First-class 150 23965 11282 468 7/46 24.10 2.82 51.2 22 2
List A 1 60 25 2 2/25 2/25 12.50 2.50 30.0 0 0 0
Career statistics
Test debut India v West Indies at Delhi, Feb 6-11, 1959 scorecard
Last Test New Zealand v India at Dunedin, Feb 15-20, 1968 scorecard
Test statistics
First-class span 1958-1976
List A span 1975-1976
Profile

Ramakant Bhikaji "Tiny" Desai, died in a Mumbai hospital on April 27, 1998, aged 58, while awaiting heart surgery. Tiny Desai was only 5ft 4in tall but, from a supple run-up, generated sufficient pace to sustain the Indian attack in the 1960s, when it desperately needed sustenance, and usually got it only from spin bowlers. He was drafted into the side as a 19-year-old for the Delhi Test in 1958-59, and had to bowl 49 overs in West Indies' only innings, taking four for 169; he promptly took over the leadership of the attack for the 1959 tour of England. At Lord's he had England in deep trouble at 80 for six, and finished with five for 89 in the innings. Wisden praised his rare ability, endless courage, and his out-swinger, though the team was hopelessly overmatched, and he was over-bowled. That was often the way: he was on the winning side in only four of his 28 Tests. But he played a crucial role in blunting the threat of Hanif Mohammad in the 1960-61 series against Pakistan. Hanif had some trouble against Desai's deceptive bouncer, and was dismissed by him four times in nine innings: the Indians joked that he was Ramakant's bakra- the Hindi equivalent of rabbit. With the older ball, Desai was especially effective. His finest hour arguably came in that series, at the Brabourne Stadium in the opening Test, when he scored 85, batting No. 10; his ninth-wicket stand of 149 with P. G. Joshi remains an Indian Test record. He also scored a crucial 32 not out at Dunedin in 1967-68, continuing to bat after his jaw was broken. India won, but he never played Test cricket again. In 53 Ranji matches for Bombay, he took 239 wickets at 15.61, and he retired completely in 1969, aged only 30. Desai returned to the front line in 1996 when he was appointed chairman of selectors, and he was responsible for the appointment - and the dismissal - of Sachin Tendulkar as captain. It was not a happy term of office, and his natural sense of loyalty and reticence, combined with increasing ill-health, made it difficult for him both in committee and in his dealings with the media. He resigned the month before he died.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack

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1980

Ramakant Desai, Mumbai, Portrait

Ramakant Desai: Portrait

© Mumbai Cricket Association - CricInfo

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